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Saga: Nightmare arc

Prerequisites: Completion of previous missions in arc

Summary:

Psi is understandably pushed over the edge by this most recent revelation and inexplicably blacks out in the process. When he comes to, he finds himself in a whole new world vaugely resembling the one he was just in, but in a sense, demented, twisted and full of demon-like folk who seem to want Psi dead badly. After fighting off an initial assault from them, Psi spots a series of fleshy pillars in the distance, with a massive portal above it that presumably leads back to Denuo. Firmly believing he has to stop the demons from using this portal, Psi flies over to the pillars and singlehandedly takes down every last one of them in an unstoppable fury. Once the last demon is dead, the world fades back to familiar Denuon settings without Psi even entering the portal. Shortly afterwards he is confronted by a flustered, enraged Akumaryu who saw the entire thing happen - unknown to Psi, he had been hallucinating the entire time, and rather than conquest-bent demons, he had been brutally murdering the military and innocent civilians the entire time. Until stated otherwise, authority figures and some citizens in most cities will continue to display hostility towards Psi once this mission is completed.

Script:

[The screen slowly fades back in from black, and Psi wakes up horribly dazed and confused. He is lying in an area that only resembles the one he was just in in basic layout - aesthetically the area is now dominated by flesh and bone imagery, still maintaining some of the red tint from the previous scene.]

Psi: Augh... what happened? Where am I? Where did everyone go?

[Psi glances around, but doesn't find anyone]

Psi: Aku? Are you still there...? Synn? Synn! Wake up!

[Control is returned to the player. As Psi makes his way back through the complex towards the surface]

Psi: Uggh, my head... so clouded. Can't think straight. What's going on...?

[As the player makes it outside, they are immediately attacked by Nightmare Legion troops. They glow with a very fierce, almost blinding yellow light, and act far more aggressively than they normally would. Fortunately for Psi, he can dispatch each of them with a single hit in this state, although he doesn't have access to Synn's attacks.]

Psi: I feel... stronger, somehow. But... what were those things? Just being around them makes my head hurt.

[Brief pause.]

Psi: They must be responsible for this. If I kill more of them, maybe I'll be able to think straight again. Might even figure out how I got here and how to get back.

[After fighting through more of the legion via the ruined city equivalent of the Urban Ruins, Psi comes to a stop at a peak area with a view of the surrounding landscape. The gruesome nature of the Nightmare Dimension is even more readily apparent than before.]

Psi: It's kinda like where I just was when I was last awake, but more... icky. Almost like it's an alternate reality... is this one of those different dimensions Aku spoke of?

[As the camera pans across the landscape, a landmark comes into view.]

Psi: Hey, is that a -- AAAAAGH

[The same ferocious light from before suddenly emenates from the bottom of the landmark, in massive quantities. As the camera pans up, there appears to be a massive portal above, and the lights slowly clambering upwards towards it.]

Psi: There's... so many of them. I think I understand now. That portal's my ticket back, but they want to get through first and make havoc. I can't let them do that... they all have to die!

[Psi takes flight towards the city, giving control back to the player in the form of a shmup section. During the flight, the player is attacked by several large flying enemies that show up sequentially. They aren't necessary for progress, but the player gets additional score bonuses for defeating them early - otherwise, they show up again later for a second round. Once the player reaches the landmark, Psi immediately does battle with more of the grounded Nightmare Legion, who quickly increase in number to ridiculous, engine-testing amounts. At first the enemy specializes mostly in ranged enemies, but in the furthest reaches of the stage the game mobs you with melee enemies at a torrential rate, prompting abusal of their 1-hit HP. Once the enemy's numbers become critically low, the remaining few flee until they are backed into a corner. The level ends when they are defeated, at which point Psi takes to the skies again and passes through the portal above, landing back in Denuo again. As he wearily returns to his feet again, Aku enters the screen at very high velocity, kicking Psi down in a freeze-frame moment.]

Psi: Agh, hey! What was that for!?

Aku: What's the hell's wrong with you? Do you have any idea of what you've done!?

Psi: What are you talking about?

Aku: Oh... oh god, you don't even know, do you?

Psi: Look man, if there's a problem, just spit it out, don't keep me in susp--

[Psi steps backwards, tripping over a dead body. He shuffles backwards in fright as he realizes the implications - a brief flashback to the Nightmare Dimension representing the way he died. He gazes out to the most distant buildings to find a crashed fighter plane lodged in one of them, and another flashback occurs, this time in the fight with the flying enemies en route. As the camera pans back towards Psi along the ground, it picks up a number of dead bodies beyond measure, and as the music builds to a crecendo it replays the fight that had just occured, signifying that Psi had mistakenly killed every last one of them singlehandedly, and reduced the settlement of Riptide to nothing more than a ghost town. As the screen fades to black in ending the mission, Psi lets off one last line:]

Psi: ...what have I done?

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